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Topic: Real World Mathematics
Replies: 5   Last Post: Nov 27, 1995 9:20 PM

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Chi-Tien Hsu

Posts: 144
Registered: 12/6/04
Re: Real World Mathematics
Posted: Nov 27, 1995 5:10 PM
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> The other day a friend called me up and asked me to help him figure out a
> "formula" to use to find the diameter of an attachment for a
> carbite tool he has. He's a machinist. If you can imagine this, he had an
> equilateral triangle and he only knew the height of the triangle. He
> needed to know the diameter of the circle that fit inside of the triangle
> so he could order the correct part to fit with the tool.
> I didn't think that there was a pre-made formula to figure this out so I
> used knowledge of geometry and trigonometry to find the diameter. As a
> prospective math teacher I was so excited to see my mathematical
> knowledge put to the test. This was not a textbook problem, but one that
> was a real world application problem that could easily be used in a 3rd
> or 4th year algebra/trig class. The comment I made to my friend was that
> I could tell my students there are lots of applications of mathematics in
> the real world if we open our eyes to the possibilities.
> Martina Young

Yes this is a good application of math in real world, but I think this is also
a very typical "problem by type" in most of the good geometry text books. So,
I guess it implies the present school system does not do a good job on providing
adequate practices on "problem by type", if what Martina described "this was
not a textbook problem" is a globally true situation.


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